The discovery of a new dish does more for human happines than the discovery of a new star. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 74, 20 April 1993







RUSSIA



REFERENDUM ROUNDUP. Representatives of about 30 trade unions
which are not members of the Federation of Independent Trade
Unions of Russia offered President Boris Yeltsin their support
in the forthcoming referendum at a meeting on 19 April, ITAR-TASS
reported. Although representing only 4-5 million workers, the
unions control some key branches of Russia's economy, particularly
coal mining. First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko told
reporters the same day that whatever the outcome of the referendum,
Yeltsin would remain president until fresh elections were held.
Meanwhile, Yeltsin's main opponent, parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov told industrialists in Voronezh that the president
and the government had ruined the country with their economic
reforms and consistently violated the constitution. -Wendy Slater


YELTSIN ORDERS INVESTIGATION INTO CORRUPTION CHARGES. President
Yeltsin issued an order on 19 April to the Security and Interior
Ministries and members of the Presidential Administration and
Procurator's Office to examine the allegations made by Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi in his 16 April speech before parliament that
senior government figures had illegally profited from privatization
(see RFE/RL Daily Report of 19 April). ITAR-TASS and Reuters
reported that the officials were ordered to report weekly on
the course of the investigation and on "measures undertaken to
ensure Russia's economic security." Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr
Shokhin and First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko rejected
Rutskoi's accusations as "fabrications." Rutskoi, however, claims
he has relevant documents to prove the allegations. -Wendy Slater


RUTSKOI, PRAVDA ACCUSE YELTSIN OF CORRUPTION. The mysterious
substance "red mercury" is playing a key role in corruption allegations
leveled against Yeltsin's government. "Red mercury" is a compound
that allegedly is of great value in the construction of nuclear
weapons, although most weapons experts deny these claims, and
its main use appears to be as bait to entrap prospective smugglers.
Nevertheless, in his 16-April speech to parliament, Rutskoi accused
Yeltsin and his advisers of improperly giving an exclusive export
license for the material to a Sochi firm in the belief that it
would provide up to tens of billions of dollars in revenue per
year. On 17 April Pravda published a lengthy article entitled
"Yeltsingate" which included documents allegedly showing wrongdoing
by Gennadii Burbulis as well as secret decrees signed by Yeltsin.
Whether the documents are authentic is uncertain: if so they
imply at least a remarkable gullibility on the part of Yeltsin's
advisers. It is more likely that the allegations are an attempt
to impugn Yeltsin's integrity before the referendum in a manner
that will be difficult to refute authoritatively, despite the
probably fictitious nature of "red mercury." -John Lepingwell


GERASHCHENKO "SETS TRAP" FOR FEDOROV. Central Bank head Viktor
Gerashchenko has portrayed the recently announced compromise
between the bank and the government limiting credit creation
as a trap to reveal the impracticality of Minister of Finance
Boris Fedorov's economic austerity program, according to Izvestiya
of 14 April and the Financial Times of 19 April. After months
of bickering over monetary policy, the government and the RCB
suddenly came to agreement last week to limit credit emission
to 3 trillion rubles in the second quarter of this year (as compared
to a reported 11-13 trillion rubles in the first quarter). Gerashchenko
now says that he conceded this limit because he knew the government
would be unable to live with it. He is convinced, given the expected
size of the government deficit this year, that Fedorov will have
to come to the RCB in early summer requesting that the limit
be eased. -Erik Whitlock

ANOTHER STEP IN CAMPAIGN FOR PEACEKEEPING ROLE. Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev sent a letter to UN Secretary General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali on the need to activate UN mechanisms for
defending the victims of ethnic conflict, ITAR-TASS reported
on 19-April. The letter outlined specific proposals on ways to
defend civilians from armed conflicts. Kozyrev sent a similar
proposal to UNESCO earlier in April, and also raised the issue
in talks with visiting Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af
Ugglas in Moscow on 19-April. Russia's proposals on mechanisms
for halting armed conflict mark a development in Russia's campaign
to gain the leadership of peacekeeping operations regarding conflicts
in the former Soviet Union. -Suzanne Crow

RUSSIA INCREASINGLY ISOLATED ON BOSNIA. Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev proposed holding a conference of UN Security Council
members to discuss the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 19-April,
ITAR-TASS reported. He suggested holding the conference in Bosnia
itself, linking the willingness to hold the conference there
with the seriousness of efforts to settle the conflict. In talks
with the visiting Swedish Foreign Minister, Kozyrev said Russia
does not object to tougher UN sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia,
but would like to see them introduced after 26 April, at which
point Russia may well express support. Meanwhile, at the UN on
19 April, Russia succeeded in suspending discussion on the formal
expulsion of the rump Yugoslavia from UN Economic Commission
for Europe. -Suzanne Crow

DECREE TO HELP RESTORE TRADE WITH EASTERN EUROPE. President Boris
Yeltsin has issued a decree intended to bolster trade ties between
Russia and the former European members of the Council for Mutual
Economic Assistance (CMEA), according to ITAR-TASS on 16 April.
The decree orders the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations,
Ministry of Finance, and Russian Central Bank to undertake negotiations
with former European Soviet bloc members interested in arranging
trade payments in their respective national currencies. In 1991,
the CMEA switched to settling trade in hard currencies-an action
that accelerated the collapse of commerce in the region. The
decree also states that if new payments arrangements are established,
Russian enterprises exporting to former CMEA countries should
be exempt from mandatory sales of their foreign currency receipts.
Currently, Russian enterprises are required to sell 50% of their
hard currency earnings in exchange for rubles. -Erik Whitlock


TOMSK-7 RADIATION LEVELS ALMOST NORMAL. The Russian Minister
for Atomic Energy, Viktor Mikhailov, stated on 19 April that
radiation levels in the region around Tomsk-7 were almost normal,
according to ITAR-TASS. Mikhailov claimed that the only populated
area significantly affected is the village of Georgievka where
the radiation level is two to four times the normal background
level. The area was also visited by a team from the International
Atomic Energy Agency, whose spokesman told an RFE/RL correspondent
that the total amount of radioactive substances released was
approximately 40 curies, about one-millionth of the radiation
released in the Chernobyl accident. According to the IAEA the
tank contained mostly uranium, mixed with extremely small quantities
of plutonium. No plutonium was found outside the reprocessing
facility. -John Lepingwell

CIS TO PAY WORLD PRICE FOR RUSSIAN FUEL? DURING HIS NEWS CONFERENCE
ON 14 APRIL, PRESIDENT YELTSIN WAS ASKED ABOUT THE PRICE OF FUEL
THAT RUSSIA SELLS TO OTHER FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS. According
to Russian TV, he answered: "We have quite a firm intention to
go over to world prices for fuel in relation to the republics
of the former Soviet Union." Yeltsin further indicated that the
IMF has devised a program whereby the other former Soviet republics
would be assisted in meeting the much higher prices. At present,
states in the ruble zone pay roughly one-half of the world price
for Russian crude oil, and one-third of the world price for Russian
gas. According to the chairman of the Russian Oil Industry Committee,
this meant that in 1992 Russia was subsidizing other members
of the CIS to the tune of some $15 billion, according to ITAR-TASS
on 30 March 1993. -Keith Bush

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS TO CHINA. On 20-April, ITAR-TASS reported
that ten Russian nuclear scientists will spend two-and-a-half
years working with Chinese scientists on the design and operation
of advanced nuclear reactors. According to the report they will
work on developing a "hybrid" nuclear reactor that will incorporate
both fission and thermonuclear fusion technologies. While Russian
scientists have played a leading role in thermonuclear fusion
research, the prospects for a fusion reactor or a "hybrid reactor"
remain very distant. The specialists will also work in areas
including plasma physics, thermonuclear reactions, radioactive
waste removal and environmental protection. Russian-Chinese relations
in the nuclear field have been improving recently, and Russia
has been negotiating the sale of nuclear power reactors to China
as well. -John Lepingwell

OPPOSITION HOLDS DEMONSTRATION. A demonstration numbering between
3,000 and 6,000 was held in Moscow on 17 April, Russian agencies
reported. Described by its organizers, Russia's hardline communist
movements, as a veche (the name for a popular assembly in medieval
Russian towns), the rally was intended to drum up opposition
to Yeltsin at the forthcoming referendum. Among the speakers
were Anatolii Lukyanov and Oleg Shenin, currently on trial for
treason for their part in the failed August 1991 coup. -Wendy
Slater

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES

COURT DECLARES DUDAEV'S DECREES ILLEGAL. The Chechen Constitutional
Court ruled on 19 April that Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev's
decrees of 17-April dissolving parliament and declaring presidential
rule were illegal, Western news agencies reported. According
to ITAR-TASS of the same date, rival meetings took place the
whole day in the Chechen capital Groznyi, with about 30,000 supporters
of Dudaev gathered outside the parliament and somewhat fewer
opposition supporters on another square. The city was functioning
normally, however, and a round table of the representatives of
the opposing sides was scheduled for 20:00 hours on local television.
-Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF CIS PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS. On 16 April
a consultative meeting of Commonwealth of Independent States
parliamentary leaders was held in St. Petersburg under the chairmanship
of Ruslan Khasbulatov, chairman of the Council of the CIS Interparliamentary
Assembly, the Russian media reported. Although this was not a
session of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, to which neither
Ukraine nor Moldova belong, it is nonetheless noteworthy that
both states were represented at the meeting, which discussed
the ratification of agreements signed by CIS heads of state and
heads of government, problems of the social position of servicemen,
and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the
World War. II. -Ann Sheehy

GEORGIA THREATENS (AGAIN) TO DENOUNCE RUSSIAN "AGGRESSION" TO
UN. The Georgian Foreign Ministry delivered a note to the Russian
Embassy in Tbilisi on 17 April warning that Georgia would raise
the issue of "aggression by the Russian Federation against Georgia"
if Abkhaz forces continued to use Russian military facilities
in Abkhazia as a base for military operations, ITAR-TASS reported.
Speaking on Georgian TV on 18 April, Georgian parliament chairman
Eduard Shevardnadze stated that if Abkhaz forces continue "mass
shooting," Georgia will be constrained to proclaim a general
mobilization-a threat he has made on several previous occasions.
-Liz Fuller

KYRGYZ PRIME MINISTER URGES NATIONAL CURRENCY. Prime Minister
Tursunbek Chyngyshev asked the Kyrgyz parliament on 19 April
to endorse the introduction of a new national currency, Reuters
and various Russian news agencies reported. He said that abandoning
the ruble would give the government the autonomy in policy-making
which it needed to pull the Kyrgyz economy out of its current
crisis. In 1992, national income dropped by 26% and inflation
averaged 20% a month, according to official statistics. The head
of the Central Bank Kemil Nanaev addressed the parliament after
Chyngyshev and voiced his support for the idea of introducing
a national currency as soon as possible. -Erik Whitlock

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



COMMEMORATION OF JEWISH UPRISING IN WARSAW. Reconciliation between
the Jews and the Poles and the resolve to prevent another "holocaust"
were the main themes of the solemn ceremony marking the 50th
anniversary of the Jewish ghetto uprising in Warsaw. President
Lech Walesa expressed regrets for instances of Polish anti-Semitism
but noted that "we believe we are wiser today because of the
[tragic past] experiences." Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
said he is in Warsaw "to strengthen our friendship with the Polish
nation because there were also Poles who, in Europe's darkest
days, were extending their helping hands to us and didn't just
look on indifferently, PAP reported on 19 April. US Vice President
Al Gore said that the ceremony "warns us of the unfathomable
power of evil, the pestilence of a human soul that for a time
can dissolve nations and devastate civilizations." -Jan de Weydenthal


VICE PRESIDENT GORE IN POLAND. Vice President Gore met with President
Walesa on 19-April for talks about Polish-American relations,
during which Walesa expressed hope that the United States will
take an active part in expanding the process of economic and
political changes in East Central Europe. Walesa leaves for Washington
on 20 April and will continue talks with American political leaders;
he is scheduled to meet with President Bill Clinton on the 21st.
Earlier Gore met with a group of Jewish political and religious
leaders, who asked him what the US would do to prevent "the holocaust
of 50 years ago from occurring again, Polish and other media
reported. More specifically, Gore was asked what the US was going
to do to stop the war in Bosnia. He responded that "we are consulting
with other nations about a wide range of means to deal with the
evolving situation." -Jan de Weydenthal

ESTONIAN STATEMENT ON WARSAW GHETTO. In a statement issued on
19 April, the Estonian National Assembly said that together with
other peoples of the world, the people of Estonia mourn the many
victims of the Jewish people and said that "their memory is holy
to us." The statement stressed Estonian-Israeli ties and that
many residents of Estonia have found a home in Israel, a fact
that adds a human measure to Estonian-Israeli contacts. In conclusion,
the Estonian parliamentarians stressed that their objective is
to work for a world where there is not place for violence. -Dzintra
Bungs

ILIESCU AND THE COMMEMORATION OF THE HOLOCAUST. On 19 April President
Ion Iliescu began a three-day visit to Washington. to participate
in the inauguration ceremonies of the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
According to the New York Times, Iliescu hopes to meet with President
Clinton and other senior US officials, but a Romanian spokesman
said no meeting with the US president has been arranged. Iliescu
is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu
and Romania's Chief Rabbi, Moses Rosen. Before boarding his plane
Iliescu said the tragedy of the Jews has a special significance
because of the violence and the cruelty with which "a program
was carried out to massacre a population." On 18 April Iliescu
spoke at the commemoration for the victims of the European Holocaust
at Bucharest's Choral Synagogue. He promised that the authorities
would act against anti-Semitism and xenophobia. He said his engagement
in the struggle against such tendencies dates back to his youth
(a reference to his communist past). Rabbi Rosen said it was
the first time in the country's 600-year Jewish presence that
a Romanian head of state had visited a synagogue. -Michael Shafir


HAVEL, OTHER LEADERS TO US. Czech President Vaclav Havel left
for a three-day visit to the United States, Czech Radio reported
on 20 April. Havel will attend the opening ceremonies of the
Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and hold several
meetings with leading US officials, including President Bill
Clinton. Other leaders from the countries of Central and Eastern
Europe expected in Washington for the Holocaust commemorations
include Albanian Prime Minister Aleksander Gabriel Meksi, Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman, Hungarian President Arpad Goncz, Moldovan
PM Prime Minister Andrei Sangeli, and Slovenian President Milan
Kucan. -Jan Obrman and Michael Shafir

ZHELEV: BULGARIA NOT INVOLVED IN POPE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT.
The world has to be convinced that Bulgaria had nothing to do
with the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II, President
Zhelyu Zhelev said on 19 April. Rejecting the allegations of
a "Bulgarian connection" in the 1981 assault against the Pope's
life, Zhelev apparently supported the conclusions of the Ministry
of Internal Affairs: on 2-April Interior Minister Viktor Mihailov
told parliament that an analysis of all the evidence assembled
by Bulgarian, Italian, Russian, and US authorities failed to
indicate Bulgarian involvement. Zhelev made his remark to BTA
before flying to the United States, where he is to meet President
Bill Clinton and attend the opening of the Holocaust Museum in
Washington. -Kjell Engelbrekt

GROWING CHANCES OF INTERVENTION IN BOSNIA? THE WASHINGTON POST
ON 20 APRIL DISCUSSES THE DEBATE IN WESTERN CAPITALS OVER POSSIBLE
MILITARY ACTION IN THE WAKE OF THE SERB OFFENSIVE AGAINST SREBRENICA.
On 19 April Reuters reported from the UN that nonaligned countries
have introduced a draft that would permit the establishment of
a coalition on the model of Desert Storm to support the Bosnian
government "against Serb attacks." Bosnia has called on the international
community to support the draft, which would also lift the arms
embargo on that embattled republic. Meanwhile in Germany, Chancellor
Helmut Kohl told news agencies that Serbia-Montenegro should
be expelled from all international organization in response to
"the brutal Serbian behavior" and "the sham of Serbian policies."
Kohl nonetheless warned against military intervention in the
conflict, and again ruled out German participation were the international
community to undertake such a mission. Finally, it appears that
56% of Croats feel that no such intervention will take place,
according to a poll in the 19 April Vecernji list, while only
18% believe that it will. -Patrick Moore

CONCERN OVER CROAT-MUSLIM FIGHTING. The 20-April Washington Post
reports on the latest fighting between Croats and Muslims in
central Bosnia, especially around Zenica and Vitez. The paper
says that the fighting was triggered by a speech made by the
Croatian defense minister on 12 April, in which he called for
the Croatian flag to fly along the Bosnian one in the mainly
Muslim town of Travnik, which the Vance-Owen plan assigns to
a Croatian canton. Vecernji list of 20 April quotes Croatia's
UN ambassador and advisor to President Tudjman, Mario Nobilo,
as saying that he is concerned that the international community
will blame Croatia for the fighting, whether the charge is justified
or not. Nobilo adds that the major powers are placing considerable
pressure on Zagreb and Belgrade for the two to hold direct talks.
Tudjman told the 19 April Serbian weekly Vreme that Croatia is
willing to talk to Serbia but is waiting for an initiative from
Belgrade. -Patrick Moore

SERBIAN REACTIONS TO NEW UN SANCTIONS. Reaction to the new UN
sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro from Belgrade and Bosnian
Serb leaders and opposition parties has been sharp. Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic threatened to walk out of peace talks
if new sanctions are implemented. He described the UN sanctions
resolution as an "absolutely incomprehensible and irrational
move." Bosnian Serb Vice President Biljana Plavsic cautioned
Serb negotiators not to forget the Serb "survival" philosophy
and warned them not to capitulate because the "last chance" for
Serbs in this century to win "common state for all Serbs" is
at stake. The rump federal Yugoslav government condemned the
new UN sanctions and warned that Belgrade may reconsider its
role in the peace process if the "UN continues the policy of
punishing Yugoslavia." The government's statement questioned
whether the UN is truly seeking an end to the Bosnian conflict
or whether the war is an "excuse to step up the pressure on the
Yugoslavia to achieve some other goals." Serbian opposition parties
generally described the latest UN move as inhumane and short-sighted.
Radio Serbia and Studio B TV carried the reactions on 18 and
19 April. -Milan Andrejevich

STRAINS BETWEEN BELGRADE AND MOSCOW? ON 18 APRIL RADIO SERBIA'S
VETERAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR, MILIKA SUNDIC, CHARACTERIZED
THE NEW UN SANCTIONS AS "A KNIFE TO THE THROAT OF SERBS AND MONTENEGRINS
EVERYWHERE," BUT TOOK AN EVER HARSHER VIEW OF THE RUSSIAN ABSTENTION
FROM THE SANCTIONS VOTE. Sundic said that the Russian action
signals Moscow's "solidarity with the darkest Western forces."
Sundic's comment might suggest that Belgrade wants to signal
indirectly their dissatisfaction with Moscow's policy; no such
criticism appears in official government statements on the sanctions.
On 19 April Evgenii Ambartsumov, chairman of the Russian Supreme
Soviet Committee on International Affairs and Foreign Economic
Ties, walked out of a meeting with Vojislav Seselj, head of Serbia's
Radical Party, after the Serb leader demanded that Russia "rise
and show its support for Serbia." Ambartsumov retorted that Seselj
does not understand the meaning of democracy. Seselj later told
reporters that "Russia cannot help Serbia, because it cannot
help itself." Radio Serbia carried the report. -Milan Andrejevich


ROMANIAN UN ENVOY ON YUGOSLAV CONFLICT. Addressing a debate on
policy in the former Yugoslavia on 19 April, Romanian delegate
Ioan Voicu told the Security Council his country fears the conflict
in Bosnia-Herzegovina might lead to "a crisis of extreme severity"
unless a peaceful settlement is found. The council's open debate
was arranged at the request of countries that feel their views
are not always considered by this forum. Voicu said Romania will
continue to implement the sanctions against rump Yugoslavia in
good faith but expects to suffer further economic hardship itself
as a result of the new measures against the Serbs. Romania, he
said, hopes other countries will help with compensation. The
envoy thanked the US for sending boats to help the enforcement
of the sanctions and added that his government is in contact
with other countries for receiving additional assistance. Voicu
said Romania is considering accepting some refugees from the
former Yugoslavia, especially children, and is now negotiating
with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. -Michael Shafir

MORE EC MEMBERS RECOGNIZE MACEDONIA. Danish Foreign Minister
Niels Helveg Petersen informed Reuters on 19 April that nine
of the EC's twelve member countries have now recognized Macedonia
and that of those remaining, only Greece will not do so. Petersen,
whose country holds the EC presidency, noted that "we regard
the question of recognition as settled." -Duncan Perry

CZECHS WEIGH TIGHTENING BORDER WITH SLOVAKIA. The Czech government
is apparently determined to tighten border controls with Slovakia.
In an article published on 19-April, Rude pravo quoted Interior
Minister Jan Ruml as saying that the Czech Republic plans to
"formalize" the border unilaterally if Slovakia refuses to cooperate.
The remarks were confirmed by Ruml's spokesman Jan Subrt. The
minister added that as long as the quality of the Czech-Slovak
border is not changed, Prague cannot sign an agreement with Germany
on the handling of illegal migration. -Jan Obrman

NEW DATA ON SLOVAKIA'S HARD CURRENCY RESERVES. Marian Tkac, the
chairman of the Slovak National Bank, told Slovak Radio on 16
April that his bank has some $230-million in hard currency reserves.
Tkac also claimed that the overall amount of hard currency reserves
in Slovakia (reserves held by the Slovak National Bank and other
commercial banks) is almost $1.3 billion. Data provided by Tkac
contradict those provided by Economics Minister Jaroslav Kubecka
and other officials at the beginning of April. On 8 April Kubecka
said that Slovakia's hard currency reserves had dropped from
$200-million at the beginning of 1993 to some $20-25 million
at the end of March. -Jiri Pehe

BUDAPEST BUS DRIVERS HOLD WARNING STRIKE. A warning strike was
held between 4:00 and 6:00 am on 20 April, MTI reports. The strikes
were held because the Transport Workers' Union could not agree
with the Budapest Transport Company on wages. The drivers asked
for a 28% wage raise initially. They were ready to accept an
18% pay raise starting on 1-January 1993, but the company wanted
to raise the wages starting on 1 April. Talks with Mayor Gabor
Demszky overnight failed to produce results. Some 1000 bus drivers
participated in the strike, which was followed by a sympathetic
walkout by the technical and office workers working for the transportation
company. -Judith Pataki

EBRD TO AID KOZLODUY. Kozloduy in Bulgaria will be the first
nuclear power plant in Eastern Europe to receive financial support
from a safety-improvement fund set up by Western nations, Reuters
reported on 18-April. Jacques Attali, President of the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which manages the fund,
told reporters in Paris that Kozloduy-a plant he described as
"particularly dangerous"-would be first in line. -Kjell Engelbrekt


BLACK SEA FLEET UPDATE. Approximately 80 second to fourth-year
students who have not sworn allegiance to Ukraine will be transferred
from military schools in Sevastopol to Russian schools, according
to an ITAR-TASS report of 19 April. The schools in Sevastopol
are under Ukrainian jurisdiction, and tensions have reportedly
been rising between Ukrainian and Russian students, leading to
an incident in which 20 Russian students stoned the Ukrainian
Naval Institute commander's car. Russian Radio Mayak on 18 April
reported that Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk held a long
telephone conversation with the commander of the Black Sea Fleet,
Eduard Baltin, in which Kravchuk upheld Baltin's direct subordination
to the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. The conversation followed
charges by Ukraine that ships of the Black Sea Fleet had been
deployed on the orders of the Russian government. -John Lepingwell


RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL URGED. Western and Baltic agencies reported
on 19 April that in separate statements to the press earlier
that day prominent figures from the European Community and Finland
urged the continued pullout of Russian troops from Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania. Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen,
who is currently chairing the EC, said that the EC continues
to press for an early, orderly, and complete withdrawal of an
estimated 43,000 Russian troops from the Baltics; recent Baltic
estimates indicate that there are about 24,000 troops in Latvia,
12,000 in Lithuania, and 8,000 in Estonia. He also said that
Russian allegations of mass violations of human rights in the
Baltic States have not been substantiated, adding that EC welcomes
the Baltic States' willingness to receive international missions
to look into these allegations. In Helsinki, Finnish parliamentarian
Tertti Paasio said that Finland also wants the soonest possible
complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltics, as stipulated
in the CSCE documents. -Dzintra Bungs

CONGRESS OF LITHUANIAN DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY. The third congress
of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party on 17 April was attended
by 520-delegates, Radio Lithuania reports. The congress elected
a 138-member party council with Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
as chairman, Gediminas Kirkilas first deputy chairman, and Vladimir
Berezov, Sigita Burbiene, Justinas Karosas, and Algirdas Kuncinas
as deputy chairman. It also approved a new party program stressing
its social-democratic nature and sent a request for membership
in the Socialist International. Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull









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